Market vendor Milika Baleiwai at the Suva market yesterday. Baleiwai is one who saves through microfinance banking. Picture: IVAMERE RASABASABA
THE people of Namosi have everything going for them compared to those from other rural areas. They have access to a bank, they are earning good money but they do not know how to make their money grow.
Maikeli Kausoqo, a training officer with the Fiji Council of Social Services Microfinance Unit said one of their biggest challenges was financial literacy.
"They spend a lot of money and saving is not a priority. And it is hard to drive home the idea of saving because these are people who really do not have to worry about water or electricity bills or even food.
"Some of them earn as much as $15,000 from their farms in a year but don't have any savings. What we learnt was that these people will come to town, sell their produce and spend whatever money they have.
"These people have everything those in urban areas have such as furniture, Sky Pacific and more," Mr Kausoqo said.
The unit has been helping the villages in understanding financial literacy and convincing them to save.
"We are targeting the youths more and reminding them that they need to fend for themselves," he added.
The FCOSS MFU has 11 financial literacy workshops pending and has invited youth groups and social groups to contact them if they wish to have one in their communities.
The unit serves areas between Nausori and Navua; the provinces of Namosi, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu South; plus the islands of Koro, Ovalau and Moturiki.